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Danville restaurant owner sentenced for wire fraud, food stamp fraud

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:53 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The owner of a seafood restaurant in Danville has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by exchanging cash for SNAP benefits.

According to court documents, Bobby Lee James, 69, and others who worked at the restaurant Seafood and More, redeemed SNAP benefits in exchange for cash between 2010 and 2018, according to the US Attorney’s Office. James also admitted he directed his employees to redeem SNAP benefits for cash during the same time and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

James pleaded guilty in January 2021 to one count of wire fraud and one count of food stamp fraud.

According to court documents, from October 2010 to July 2018, SNAP redemptions for Seafood and More exceeded the state average of all other seafood specialty class stores in Virginia by more than $2,465,555, according to the US Attorney’s Office. In total, the restaurant caused approximately $1,835,767 in losses to the SNAP program.

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